Forecaddie: Michigan State rules junior can keep car won at Symetra Tour event

Yurika Tanida

Forecaddie: Michigan State rules junior can keep car won at Symetra Tour event

Forecaddie

Forecaddie: Michigan State rules junior can keep car won at Symetra Tour event

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Yurika Tanida thought it was funny to see a car on a tee box during a golf tournament. The Symetra Tour’s Island Resort Championship marked the amateur’s first start in a professional event, and the Michigan State junior, competing on a sponsor exemption, was doing her best to find dry land on the par-3 15th island green at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich.

The wind was blowing right to left on a front-left hole location. Tanida pulled out a 7-iron from 156 yards. She didn’t even see the ball go in.

“It was unreal,” Tanida told The Forecaddie of her first ace in competition.

Surely she couldn’t keep the hole-in-one prize, though.

“I’ve never heard a case of the amateur getting the car,” she said.

Michigan State coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll thought the same.
No way was that 2019 Mazda 3 AWD going back to East Lansing.

The MSU compliance department’s initial take: absolutely not.

But then Tanida’s swing coach, Andy Wada, recalled a player on the men’s team from Marquette, Hunter Eichhorn, getting to keep a car he’d won in a scramble.

Michigan State’s people called Marquette’s people, information on the ruling was passed along and lo and behold Tanida got to keep the car.

With one stipulation: She can’t sell the car until she graduates.

“I’ve seen a lot of things in 24 years,” Slobodnik-Stoll told TMOF, “and that wasn’t one of them.”

Tanida, a native of Kanagawa, Japan, got her U.S. driver’s license last summer along with a Honda HR-V. She sold the Honda and upgraded the Mazda to 4WD for Michigan winters.

Few amateurs have enjoyed a more lucrative debut on a professional tour.

“It’s just an unforgettable tournament for me,” said Tanida.

Not a bad summer, indeed. Gwk

This story originally appeared in the September issue of Golfweek. To subscribe, click here.

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